Is your desk in a heap of a mess? Has the surface gone a-missing, with all the stuff piled on it? Do you feel you need a desk organizer? Maybe your office is located in your house, or maybe it's in an outside office, the methods and systems for getting and keeping an organized desk is the same.
Desk Organizer Benefits
Before you begin, you may wonder why you should put all this effort and focus on a desk organizer. Organizing you desk space will take a bit of time and effort, so it's best to make sure that it's worth all the effort. Here are some of the desk organizing benefits:
- you will be able to find what you are looking for fast - you will no longer waste time trying to find the one document you need at that very moment under a huge pile of paperwork.
- you will be more productive
- you will make a good impression on co-workers, managers and clients that may see your work area
- you will feel better psychologically by facing an attractive and neat workspace each and every workday, by focusing on your work with less visual distractions.
Desk Organizer Process
Now that you know all the great reasons for getting your desk organized, follow these steps to reap all of the rewards for having an organized desk.
Step 1. Take everything off and out of your desk, except for maybe really big and heavy items such as computers and printers.
Step 2. Clean the desk by wiping down and drying the surface areas, drawers and all the nooks and crannies.
Step 3. Group similar items together by the following groupings:
- Equipment & accessories: telephone, computer, printer, disks, etc...
- Filing materials: hanging file folders, manila file folders, tabs, etc...
- Supplies: paper, pencils, pens, paper clips, rubberbands, stapler, post-it notes, etc...
- File-able item: letterhead, forms, account information, completed projects, etc...
- Paperwork that requires action: calls to return, things to read, projects, etc..
- Reference materials: catalogues, binders, price lists, manuals, etc..
- Desk accessories: pencil cup, paper trays, desk pad, desk calendar, etc..
- Items that you need closeby: company phone list, cheat sheets, etc...
- Knickknacks: work awards, framed pictures, etc..
Step 4. Have a garbage and recycle bin closeby to throw things out, especially paperwork you no longer need. If you are having problems determining what to get rid of, try asking you a few of the following questions:
- Is the item a duplicate that I don't need? If yes - get rid of it.
- Is the item relevant and current to my work? If yes - keep it.
- How often will I need to refer to or use this item in the future? Never? Toss it!
- Does this item add anything to other information on hand? If no, throw it away.
Step 5. Now that you've purged what you don't need, you will need to determine a place for everything that is left over. To help you decide where things should go, there are two prinicipals that will steer you in the right direction:
- Frequency-of-Use Rule
- Grouping/Separating Rule
The Frequency-of-Use Rule requires that items be placed according to how frequently you need to use them. If you use something everyday, it should be placed within close reach or view. Items that are use less often, such as weekly, monthly or annually, can afford to be placed at a further distance so they do not interfere with your daily work.
When trying to figure out what falls in the frequency-of-use rule, think of the things you need the most often and at your fingertips. For example, the phone, computer, desk calendar, phone list, pens/pencils, stapler, paper clips, and reference material. Place these items in accessible places on, in or above your desk.
The items that you use often, but not every day, for example, envelopes, company letterhead and account information, can be placed in desk drawers, filing cabinets close to your desk or shelving near or above your desk. If there is a file drawer in your desk, you can use it to file itmes such as forms, letterhead and account information.
Finally, items that are used on the rare occasion, for example, extra office supplies, files used on occasion and reference materials should be stored on shelves or in a file and supply cabinets that can be further away from your desk.
The Grouping/Separating Rule requires that similar items should be placed together, while dissimilar items should be separated from each other. An example may be, putting same items together, such as pencils and pens, and separate them from dissimilar items, such as paperclips. In addition, items that are functionally related to each othershould be placed near each other. For example, put your note-taking materials -- e.g., pencils, pens, and scratch pad or telephone log -- close to your telephone.
Read more about how to organize desk, including how to keep it organized!
Organize It Now!